With the Prime Minister back in the House in Question Period, Thomas Mulcair returned to the matter of the Duffy affair, particularly the matter of the email that suggests two of the PMO’s communications specialists were standing by to assist Mr. Duffy in February when he agreed to Nigel Wright’s repayment scheme.
Mr. Mulcair asked Mr. Harper to confirm that Mr. Duffy was, in the NDP leader’s words, “given aid by two people in the Prime Minister’s Office.” Here was Mr. Harper’s response.
Mr. Speaker, this matter is the responsibility of Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy. Mr. Duffy knew what the truth was. Mr. Duffy chose to say something else to the public. For that reason, Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy have been held accountable. In fact, I took action on this matter some six months ago.
Mr. Mulcair tried again, asking whether Chris Woodcock, Patrick Rodgers or Stephen Lecce (a press secretary in the PMO) had told “Mike Duffy to say that he had repaid his expenses thanks to a loan that he would have obtained from the Royal Bank.”
Here is the first sentence of Mr. Harper’s reply.
Mr. Speaker, again, in terms of my office, the responsibility for this was Mr. Wright, the chief of staff.
You could read that as absolving any other member of the Prime Minister’s Office who were involved in the implementation of the deal between Mr. Duffy and Mr. Wright. And that would seem to follow his earlier assertion that “the story” was the work of Mr. Duffy and Mr. Wright.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.